Halo Nation


Halo 4: A Good or Bad Game?

Oh look, another guy who is ranting and complaining about how Halo 4 was a bad game. Well you’re partially wrong; you see I’m not saying Halo 4 was a bad game, I’m saying that it has its good things and its bad things. And I’m going to break the game down to analyze what made it good and bad. To start this lets first look at the campaign, many people said how it was terrible, too short, too easy, or too boring. Are they right? I think their main problem is that they are trying to compare it to past Halo games, which is a problem in itself, as Halo 4 is not as great nor is it as big as past Halo games. Halo 4 is in a category of its own. So think of it this way, if you played Halo 4’s campaign, with no knowledge of past Halo games and their great campaign missions (i.e. Silent Cartographer) would Halo 4’s campaign really be that bad? I think it wouldn’t, but since the majority of players are veterans, I believe that, in essence, the campaign of Halo 4 isn’t as good as past games and it isn’t as memorable.

Now let’s look at the weapons of Halo 4. Meh is all I have to say. You see my main issue with the weapons is that they’re all reskins. Oh boy now we have 3 assault rifle and 4 DMR reskins. Sure some weapons were creative (i.e. Binary Rifle), but most were just the same weapon over and over. What happened to the charm of past games, were pretty much every weapon was unique. What happened to the Spiker, or Grenade Launcher, or Plasma Cannon or Plasma Repeater? Even random weapons like the Golf Club or Focus Rifle (which is a terrible weapon btw), were taken out. Sure some were bad weapons (f***ing Focus Rifle), but there was more diversity and more creativity. Perhaps if they had taken the weapons and said “hey why not just make this weapon better” (I’m looking at you Focus Rifle) rather than, this weapon sucks, and taken it out altogether. While I did like some of the new weapons, as well as the new class of weapons, it just didn’t have the same feel as past Halo games.

Next up is the armory. Now let me say this first, Reach’s armory was the best, they had great armor designs and there was just so much you could do; but Halo 4 just didn’t do it for me. Design wise they just blew it, they made the armor seem so unHaloy, it was almost disgusting. Even the few helmets and armor that did stand out (Venator, Deadeye, Scout) weren’t that good compared to past Halo games, the redesigns on the helmets were atrocious (Gungnir, Commando, EVA, just to name a few) and even the new helmets brought nothing new. However I did like the upgraded customization, like arms and legs, and I liked the wide variety of visor colors, but what about armor effects? The armor effects in Reach were great, (Birthday Party, Inclement Weather, and Flaming Helmet) why not bring those back and like visor color add in a plethora of new ones?  One thing I did like was stances; but seriously why? Why make only a few, and make it almost impossible to unlock the good ones. It was ridiculous, why make a thing that is such a good idea, and then ruin it. I also didn’t like the fact that they did unlockable emblems. Overall I did like the armory, but it just wasn’t as good as it could be, nor as it should be.

Up next is loadouts, commendations and rank. Now I liked the idea of customizable loadouts, but I didn’t like the fact that you had to unlock it. This meant the people at SR 1 were at a severe disadvantage to people at SR 50. Also while Tactical Packages and Support Upgrades were a good idea, they made the game very unbalanced, especially with certain combinations of the two. Sprint. Sprint was also an issue, it would have been nice if they made it so that you could disable it for certain gametypes, but unfortunately you couldn’t. Commendations were probably one of my biggest issues of the game; do they seriously expect me to get 1500+ kills with a plasma pistol? This may not a have been an issue, if they hadn’t made it so that you have to do this to unlock armor, stances or emblems. In addition ranking up was an issue; in past games, Reach especially, it was difficult to rank up, in fact I’m not even at the last rank in Reach yet. But Halo 4 made it so easy to rank up (just to compare to get from rank one to rank 2 in Halo 4 you need 500 exp, while in Reach you need 7500 exp) it was almost as if the just wanted you to get to the specializations right away. Especially with easy challenges that give you a lot of exp and with the Pioneer tactical package, it was too easy. In Halo 5 I believe they need to take out specializations, because they just didn’t work, and make ranking up more difficult.

Now last thing before we get to the main meal (matchmaking) let’s look at forge, theater, and Spartan Ops. My main issue with theater was that you couldn’t do campaign or Spartan Ops replays. I mean that’s just a major problem, in addition Spartan Ops itself wasn’t that good, and I wish they brought back Firefight. (On the topic of firefight, one thing I really liked in Reach was firefight voices. Like armor effects  they should have brought it back and expanded on it (like have Red vs. Blue voices, or the Didact) as well as made it so it could also be your matchmaking voice (i.e. have it so you could sound like Master Chief in matchmaking, rather than just in firefight and/or campaign). Forge was another thing they screwed up. Sure they had a few forgeable maps, but they weren’t Forge World. Forge World was great, it was a large map with lots a different terrain and environments you could forge on. Sure they tried to make it up with forge islands, but it wasn’t the same. Overall they completely butchered forge and theater, and Spartan Ops just wasn’t as fun as Firefight.

So we finally reach (ha) the most important part of Halo. Matchmaking, and I have a lot to say about it. Firstly you could only play as one species (minus the flood), why take out the ability to play as Elites? And why not make it so you could play as Knights? It would have made the game much more enjoyable. Vehicles were another thing. Why only one flying vehicle, why no Falcon or Hornet, from Reach to 4 they dropped 7 weapons, but added 13, but with vehicles they dropped 2, but only added one, why not add more vehicles, why no forerunner vehicles? Also many weapons (Boltshot in particular) were unbalanced. While they tried to fix this with title updates, it was too late for it to be truly fixed. Another thing was the maps. Don’t get me wrong I thought most of them were creative and fun, but when it was released why weren’t there any forged maps? And another thing, in most gametypes you got the same map over and over. (i.e. in Dominion you pretty much always got Exile). Another problem was the voting system. Why couldn’t you change your vote and why was there no none of the above option? And now the gametypes themselves. Oh boy here we go. They f***ing sucked. They completely ruined it, and you know what? It was the most important part. Where were fan favorites like Grifball, or Race, or Invasion or MLG or Arena or Team Doubles, the list keeps going on. These gametypes were nowhere to be seen at launch. While they have added them in later, they ruined them, Grifball in particular, especially with Sprint. Even the ones they did have at launch were only okay. (Dominion, Slayer, Flood, etc.) Dominion was good, but got boring after only getting Exile every game, Slayer wasn’t anything spectacular, and Flood, well let’s just say it’s completely awful. In Reach, Infection was my favorite gametype (next to Firefight and Grifball), and with Flood they ruined it, the armor abilities, made it cheap (especially thruster pack) it would have been so much better if they had just kept sprint as the armor ability. While they kept trying to update matchmaking and make it better, I think the number of people online speaks for itself. I think the problem was they kept removing good gametypes. I remember that they gave the axe to CTF, Oddball and King of the Hill, and they left in gametypes that had low player counts. Why not just cut gametypes with low player count and leave in the ones with high, or even better, just not cut any gametypes. Another thing I disliked is CSR. I hate how they did this, I don’t want to be in games with people of even skill level as me, I want games where I either completely dominate or have a crushing defeat, this to me was what made matchmaking so enjoyable.

Overall I think Halo 4 was a decent game. But there were just so many flaws that it made the positives even less visible, and I hope Halo 5 lives up to the legacy of past games. What do you think do you agree, disagree? Let me know in the comments below.


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